It’s not like anyone ever liked having arm jiggle, but lately, the dreaded “bingo arm” has become public enemy No. 1: Since 2000, there’s been a major uptick—4,378 percent—in the number of upper arm lift procedures done in the U.S, according to new statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
While more women may be going under the knife, you don’t have to see a plastic surgeon to get Michelle Obama-esque arms. Just try these toning and sculpting workouts instead. You’ll love the results—not to mention the price tag (ah, that would be free).
If you lift weights to tone your muscles and hit the treadmill to work your heart, you’re wasting your time—there’s a workout that does both: Kettlebell training builds strength and improves aerobic capacity, according to a new study conducted by University of Wisconsin La Crosse’s Department of Exercise and Sport Science.
In the eight-week study, people who did hour-long kettlebell workouts twice a week increased their aerobic capacity by almost 14 percent. They also boosted their abdominal core strength by 70 percent and significantly improved their dynamic balance.
While running still trumps kettlebell training in the cardio department, researchers say kettlebell training beats other aerobic activities like walking or cycling.
Convinced that you want to try kettlebells, but not sure what to do with them? These will help you get started:
These days, the hottest fitness classes don’t just torch calories–they can burn a serious hole in your wallet, too. But while others might swear by fancy indoor cycling, yoga, and boot camp classes that can cost $ 40 a pop, new pay-what-you-can classes and other affordable fitness experiences are an equally-awesome way to mix up your workouts on a budget.
And since varying your regular routine can help you break through fitness plateaus and beat workout boredom, that’s a very good thing. Even if you belong to a gym that offers plenty of classes, working out in a new environment can help reinvigorate your routine and keep you excited about sweating it out.
Behold, tons of workouts that won’t empty your wallet:
PICK YOUR PRICE
Yoga to the People
This franchise offers classes like hot yoga and Vinyasa flow to students of all ages and fitness levels. While most locations offer classes for a suggested donation of $ 10, it’s up to you to decide how much your class is worth.
Locations in New York, NY; Brooklyn, NY; Seattle, WA; Berkley, CA; and Tempe, AZ
The People’s Bootcamp
In this 45-minute class, founded by Adam Rosante, the producer of Hardcore Pawn and Storage Hunters and a fitness fanatic, students perform high-intensity intervals and bodyweight resistance training in an indoor studio or park. Just sign up and pay what you wish online prior to dropping in.
Locations in Montauk, NY, and New York, NY
Brooklyn Yoga Collective
Hatha, Iyengar, Jivamukti, and Vinyasa yoga classes all cost between $ 7 and $ 15 here—whatever you can afford. If you have more time than cash, you can skirt the fee by volunteering in exchange for gratis classes.
Volunteering opportunities offered on a case-by-case basis; Brooklyn, NY
WORK OUT FOR FREE
Sweat where you shop
At its retail locations across the country, the fitness apparel company Athleta offers complimentary hour-long group classes such as Russian kettlebells, pilates, yoga, Dancalates, Zumba, boot camp, CrossFit, and more. No purchase is required—but post-workout shopping couldn’t be more convenient if you want to load up on gear. Check the chain’s website to see when a store near you is hosting their next class.
Dozens of locations nationwide
SPEND A LITTLE, GET A LOT
American Health and Fitness Alliance Passbook
Want to compare health clubs and fitness studios in your area? This coupon booklet hooks you up with free passes to local gyms for up to a month, plus passes for tons of fitness classes, personal training sessions, and more. The book costs $ 85, but you’ll be refunded the fee in full if you join any club promoted inside it within a year.
Available for New York, NY; Chicago, IL; Houston, TX; and Los Angeles, CA
TELL US: Did we miss an awesome way to try a new workout on the cheap? Share your budget-friendly tips and any low-cost local classes you love the comments section below!
photo: Motoyuki Kobayashi/Digital Vision/Thinkstock
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